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May 21, 2022

Max Strus

Miami Heat

Game 3: Postgame

Miami Heat 109, Boston Celtics 103

Q. Everyone searches for that playoff moment. The game, 26 up, one-point game, you come down and hit the three and show every bit of the emotion of the moment. Take us through that sequence, how much it meant to you and how much you felt it meant to the team.

MAX STRUS: Yeah, we just needed a basket in general. They were making a run and I think it was a one-point game at that time. In the timeout, Kyle said, let's run a pin-down for Max. Let's get him open. So when he said that, I had all the confidence in the world to step up and make a shot.

Just shot my normal shot. I got two great screens from Bam and P.J. and hit a wide-open jumper. Obviously it was a big shot and big momentum killer for them.

Q. We both heard about and we've seen how tough-minded you guys have been all season long, so is there any bit of you that was surprised that you were able to respond to Smart coming out of the hallway, Tatum coming into the hallway. Celtics made a run, every push they made, you guys had a response. Was that surprising in any way?

MAX STRUS: No. This was brewing from last game. We got embarrassed at home. We had a bad taste in our mouth. So we wanted to come out from the jump and show that we were here and that we're going to keep fighting.

So through all the ups and downs in the game, we just stayed together and kept battling through adversity. We've been doing it all year. It's been Next Man Up mentality. Vic played great today and we just had guys keep stepping up and made big plays and we got the win.

Q. How times have you seen Bam play better in a basketball game than tonight?

MAX STRUS: I've seen Bam play like that a lot, but tonight was special. Just because of all the noise and all the criticism that he's been getting, for him to step up like that was huge. And we need it. As you can see, it helped and was a huge part of why we won.

We need Bam to step up like that, and we are going to keep relying on him throughout all these next games.

Q. What would change the most for you guys if Jimmy isn't able to come back and play on Monday?

MAX STRUS: That's something we're going to have to get to the drawing board and figure out. Obviously losing a big piece like that is huge. We'll figure it out. We have a lot of guys in this locker room that are willing and able to step up and we have a great coaching staff to put us in great situations.

Whatever it is, we'll figure it out and get it done and be ready for Monday.

Q. There were so many different ways Bam impacted the game tonight. What was the area that stood out the most to you? Was it the scoring? Was it the dishing?

MAX STRUS: It was his aggressiveness and assertiveness, just from the jump. He got in the pocket and he went to finish. It wasn't just leaning back and shooting floaters. He was being physical. He was getting to the rim. He was just involved a lot more, and we need that. We need him to be involved in a lot more actions, and that's his game. That's how we're going to make him better, and he's going to be good for us.

Q. With you offering that anecdote about how Kyle told you it's your time. You guys talk about Kyle when he's missing how much he means to you, when he's there, how much he makes things easier. What's it like to have him back and even if he's not 100 percent, just to have him whatever percent he was tonight?

MAX STRUS: You just want me to talk good about him because he's in the room now?

Q. We're both afraid of him, so please.

MAX STRUS: He's special. Obviously having him back helped, especially on a night where we lose J.B. So to have his leadership and playoff experience was huge for us to keep us grounded and keep everything positive throughout it all. He's been in these moments plenty of time in his career, so to have him here with us is huge.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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